By Tamryn Iyer
Just over a year ago, I became a part-time social media manager at Travel Savvy SA. And very recently, I became the community manager of this brand. Anyone who has used the services of us will tell you just how amazing the professionals are! Being responsible for how the brand looks on Facebook and Instagram, I have to ensure that the content is attractive, informative and most importantly, reflective of who we are.
If you’re in the creative digital industry, you will know famous sites like Pixabay, Shutterstock, Pexels, Unsplash, etc. And then of course, we follow all these aesthetically pleasing accounts on Instagram, Pinterest and Facebook. A common thought that recurred as I scrolled through in earlier days…”I look nothing like these girls in these pictures. Maybe I shouldn’t be posting my travel images.” As I continued my various journey’s, I observed a few individuals. It was actually sad. No one really cared about the mountains, the clouds, the ocean, the sunset or the landscapes. It was all about the perfect lighting, slimming angles and the poor photographers (the boyfriend or the quiet friend) would be doing twister/yoga positions to get the perfect 20 images of the same pose. And then comes the hashtags, the perfect filters, and tags. It was just an exhausting process (to watch). Now, I’m not disputing travel images, on the contrary, I’m promoting YOU to take them! My personal Instagram is filled with pictures of my journey’s and most importantly, the imperfect moments, the difficult experiences that shaped the experience.
I had the privilege of traveling with friends around various places around Asia. It was a common consensus, let’s spend the first few minutes taking pictures and then, phones away. Time for togetherness. The photographer would generally cheer us on (to boost the mood) or capture our natural poses/ smiles of marvel at the sites we got to visit. Looking back at my travel pictures over the past few months, I wish I could Airdrop myself back to those precious moments. And this is when the penny dropped, the images we share on our pages, need to be reflective of these very moments shared. So many years into democracy, so many young South African’s are still bearing the brunt of this, but, on the other hand, there are so many trailblazers, doing phenomenal things abroad and who look perfect in every sense of the word. They are reflective of the diversity of South Africa and they most importantly reflect courage to travel. To us, social media shouldn’t just look good. It should be educating, inspiring and encouraging.
The Travel Savvy team members are committing to changing the way travel images look. There are two ways we’re currently working on this. One- our content creators’ project (more information on this to follow). And secondly, for our marketing images, we’ve reached out to a few individuals to ask for permission if we could use their faces in our brand (and to say thanks, we’ll tag and promote their brands too). We want to share the amateur moments that make your trip so glorious. We want to see those selfies of the huge smiles that reflect how you’ve saved for what felt like a lifetime to see the pyramids of Egypt. We want to see the confidence come through and the natural happiness that reflects.
If you would like us to feature your travel photos on our pages, tag us @travelsavvysa . We celebrate you, dear wanderer. We celebrate the perfect creation you are.